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Obtaining hearing care services for children & adolescents with hearing loss: patterns of access & experiences with care

Cooper, Mandy (2023) Obtaining hearing care services for children & adolescents with hearing loss: patterns of access & experiences with care. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The purpose of this study was to describe patterns in utilization of care related to hearing loss and to understand patient experiences with treatment for hearing loss, among pediatric patients. We first conducted a preliminary analysis to explore patterns of hearing care utilization. Our analysis of 2017 Optum claims data showed that among 3,924 youth < 26 years of age with a hearing impairment diagnosis, only 1315 (36%) received hearing care services. Furthermore, those who received services had a significantly higher family income, were more likely to be white, and their parents were more likely to have completed college. Our qualitative study consisted of 6 interviews with patients under the age of 26 with diagnosed hearing loss and their guardian(s). The interviews explored patient experiences and satisfaction with hearing services and treatment received. Overarching themes were patients’ positive relationships with their audiologist and the need for self-advocacy in many contexts. Participants described common threads in challenges to receiving insurance coverage as well as financial barriers associated with out-of-pocket costs. They also expressed fear of the unknown for what coverage looks like after their children outgrow qualifications for Medicaid. Participants living in rural areas described geographic barriers to care and to other resources. Future research is needed to identify the root causes of disparities in receipt of hearing care services to reduce barriers to accessing care.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Cooper, Mandymac541@pitt.edumac541
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorSeaman, Jennifer B.jbs31@pitt.edujbs31
Committee MemberPalmer, Catherinecvp@pitt.educvp
Committee MemberWiseman,
Committee MemberLevin-Decanini,
Date: 16 April 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 February 2023
Approval Date: 16 April 2023
Submission Date: 14 April 2023
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 66
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
School of Nursing > Nursing
Degree: BSN - Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hearing loss, nursing, hearing loss in youth, health services research
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2023 15:07
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2023 15:07


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